New Delhi, Aug 30 :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeps himself informed through multiple sources, and has fostered a lot of decentralization in the NDA government contrary to wide perception about him centralizing power, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Friday.
Releasing books “Narendra Modi: The Game Changer” and “Being Modi” here, Jaitley also said that Modi started talking to people directly after the media “vilification campaign” against the then Gujarat chief minister over the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar was also present at the function.
Jaitley contended Modi was “clear about the direction of the government” and so was the cabinet.
“If he could have his way, it (the pace of work) could be much faster. The direction is clear,” he said, stressing the government was working without any confusion.
Jaitley said Modi had decided to follow development agenda to “fight the propaganda battle” against him over 2002 riots and focused on his work without allowing himself to be distracted.
He said the way Modi was “vilified”, most Indian politicians would have collapsed.
“That is where he started talking to people directly over heads of the media. Therefore, the entire communication (strategy) followed (by him) till date is to communicate directly to people,” he said.
He said as chief minister, Modi came late for cabinet meetings and a senior minister took views of other colleagues, but his practice as prime minister now was to have a freewheeling discussion after the items on the agenda were over.
“Contrary to what a lot of people feel, (there is) a lot of decentralized authority to ministers coupled with a lot of accountability,” he said.
Jaitley said that Modi, who has remained a virtual outsider “to Delhi system” and has “his own style of working”, keeps himself informed through” multiple sources” including feedback from the grassroots.
Modi makes an interesting subject for a writer as he has “remained unconventional”, he claimed.
Referring to union ministers spending long hours at work, Jaitley revealed that a Gujarat minister told him during the swearing-in ceremony of the cabinet in May that MODI’Sministers at the centre would now need to work long hours as they had been doing in Gujarat.
The Gujarat minister said the Modi’s mantra for his cabinet was “I will not sleep and not let you sleep”, he said.
“That has remained his style and he has carried it,” Jaitley said.
Javadekar said that Modi’s strength was to “convert every adversity into an opportunity”.
“Narendra Modi: The Game Changer” is written by Sudesh Verma and “Being Modi” by Paavani Sinha and Nikita Parmar. The books have been published by Vitasta.